Avatar The Last Airbender

July 14, 2020

Yes, I’m really late to the party on The Last Airbender and I’m one of those dilettantes who’s only now watching it because it landed on Netflix. But we live in an age when it’s never too late to join the party. I’m old enough to remember when if you missed a show or an episode — poof, they were just gone into the ether, never to be recovered. (I still think about a one-season TV show from the 80’s called Probe, that was co-created by Isaac Asimov, and had a lovely pair of characters solving science fiction crimes, and one of them was an abrasive antisocial genius before that was ever cool… I wonder if it’s streaming anywhere? Hmm…)

Anyway, I love being able to catch up with shows like Black Sails and The Last Airbender, and revisit old faves like Robin of Sherwood and Babylon 5. TV on demand is one of the great inventions of the twenty-first century.

The Last Airbender seems light at first. A show about kids who are acting like kids. I was treating it as background entertainment for awhile. But there’s a moment where I realized I was having trouble stopping. The story had developed hooks, had gotten intense and ongoing. I think when Zuko and Iroh go on the run is the moment the show’s momentum took off for me. By season 3, it’s super-charged. The story has become global and the stakes, both personal and political, are huge. From a writer standpoint, I’m so interested in how the show is managing a couple of levels of tone and plot at the same time.

It came as no surprise when I saw Dave Filoni’s name all over the credits. He’s one of the creators of Star Wars: Rebels, which is probably my favorite animated show of the last decade, and it does that same thing where it features some younger characters operating on both personal and epic storylines.

I’m not finished yet, so no spoilers. I’m liking this enough I will probably try The Legend of Korra at some point as well.


3 Responses to “Avatar The Last Airbender”

  1. Drew Says:

    I got my husband to watch this with me as I re-watched it. He absolutely enjoyed it and has been looking up the memes. We love Zuko and Iroh.

  2. Thomas Stacey Says:

    I watched this when it aired originally and loved it. Watched it recently again on Netflix and still love it. The show definitely picked up in season 2 when Zuko and Iroh went on the run.

    Now I just need to find somewhere where I can rewatch The Legend of Korra and finally see the finale which I missed and still haven’t seen.

  3. A.J. Abrao Says:

    I’ve been meaning to watch Avatar The Last Airbender since I saw it was available on Netflix. Most of my independent viewing is while I’m on the treadmill. I tend to watch things then that I know my wife isn’t really into. So, my treadmill time lately has consisted of a rewatch of Carnivale on HBO. A couple of episodes left on that. And then probably the new HBO version of Perry mason. So, hopefully I’ll get to ATLA before it leaves Netflix.

    I found the pilot of Probe on youtube. Of course the video/audio quality isn’t great.

    Probe ep.1 part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4lJUCsagTc

    Probe ep.1 part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMbyMH2YzjQ

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